Seed World

Researchers Look to Nanotechnology to Reduce Pesticide Use

Louisiana State University AgCenter scientists are looking at a novel way to increase the efficacy of pesticides to better control insects such as the soybean looper using nanotechnology.
Biological engineer Cristina Sabliov and entomologist Jeff Davis are testing the use of nanoparticles — particles 1,000 times smaller in width than a human hair — in insecticides to see if the particles help the chemical better adhere to the leaf tissue and provide better defense against pests. They want to see if the use of nanoparticles loaded with pesticides means farmers can use less chemicals on their crops while making the chemicals more effective.
The researchers are using nanoparticles made of zein, a biodegradable corn-derived protein. They entrapped the insecticide in technical-grade methoxyfenozide within the particles and applied it to leaves of soybean plants.
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